17:07 02 March 2017
Using GRAPES-3 muon telescope in India, a team of Indian and Japanese scientists have recorded a two-hour burst of galactic cosmic rays that have breached the Earth’s magnetic shield on 22 June 2015. The event was caused by charged particles from the Sun striking the Earth at high speed.
Scientists have made the discovery using the world’s largest and most sensitive cosmic ray telescope that uses 3,712 recycled steel pipes as its sensors.
Pallava Bagla, India correspondent for Science magazine, said: "Necessity is the mother of invention. When you don't have the money to buy new, expensive stuff, you look within the system to find out your own solutions to reduce costs. India's scientists have mastered the art of recycling and coming up with their own inexpensive solutions,"
The pipes, which were imported from Japan, are buried below Kolar Gold Fields in southern Karnataka state for nearly two decades.
A scientist at the facility, Atul Jain, said that they continue to add pipes for their study. "Every day, we make 10 such recycled pipes ready for our experiments. The plan was to make very sensitive sensors to detect the weakest of signals. We wanted to measure cosmic rays with higher sensitivity than ever done before"